Two years after the inception of our publication, we’ve surpassed 500K (aka half a million!) total article views

In 2018, we started our Medium publication. Designed as an inclusive initiative, its primary goal is to encourage everyone working at Servian to share their passion for technology and to voice their opinions by contributing articles.

The publication then significantly amplifies those articles to a wider audience and community, whilst also helping build a personal brand for Servian’s consultants.

In addition, we’ve had new hires tell us that our Medium publication was an influencing factor in their decision to join us, and we’ve even seen a few of the articles act as catalysts for engagement conversations with existing and new…


Seven tools to make your articles and presentations look professional and consistent.

Great presentations flow, tell a story, and in general, look appealing. Similarly, well-written articles are accompanied by nicely designed graphics, imagery, and high-quality photos.

Your writing style is your own, and that I can’t and won’t be able to help you with. However, I can try to improve the look and feel of your articles and presentations with a little help of a few popular toolsets.

Let’s begin.

Stock Photos

I’ve seen and created my fair share of professional presentations, and there’s always one aspect that’s common to them all… one-liner impact statements. Whether it’s to drive a point home, scare the…


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Photo by R Mo on Unsplash

With the introduction and general availability of materialized views, I wanted to explore the possibility of creating “virtual” data warehouses. By virtual, I am referring to a warehouse that is built without ETL tools (i.e., Talend, Informatica, dbt, or Dataform for that matter).

Now obviously the entire warehouse can’t be completely virtual, we still generally recommend organisations build integration layers (something along the lines of Data Vault) but in all honesty, you could bypass that if you’re not integrating many source systems and if your organisation is not likely to change its core systems/ways of working.

The data warehouse

Let’s briefly introduce a…


With over 175 products on offer by AWS, selecting the most appropriate one for your workload can at times be an overwhelming exercise.

I’ve decided to tackle this task by creating a decision tree of sorts focusing specifically on compute products.

Compute workloads are broken down into three areas, analytical, application, and machine learning. Selecting a workload type will take you on a Q&A journey until you finally reach your recommended product.

Give it a try and let me know if I’ve missed a product that you believe should be included or if some of the wording should be tweaked.

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Below I’ve made available both the PNG and PDF versions of the decision tree for download.


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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Tokenisation is the concept of replacing a sensitive value (i.e., credit card number, social security number, etc.) with a token, not a hash or ciphertext.

A token is randomly generated without the input of the original sensitive value. On its own, it has no value.

A hash is (generally) an encoding method of producing a fixed-width value. A hash cannot be reversed. The only way to “break” a hash is via a rainbow table.

The ciphertext is the result of a cryptographic operation (or encryption). The ciphertext is produced utilising an encryption cipher along with a private key. …


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Photo by Rishi Deep on Unsplash

After another great keynote from Andy Jassy, I decided to recap and provide my opinions on the recent Redshift announcements in 2019, including the latest from the keynote this morning.

RA3 nodes with managed storage (link)

RA3 nodes are high performing compute nodes with relatively small local SSD storage used for local caching. The remainder of your data is stored on S3.

RA3 nodes enable you to scale and pay for compute and storage independently allowing you to size your cluster based only on your compute needs.

Opinion — While this is a step in the right direction (i.e., …


Open source application to instantly remediate common security issues through the use of AWS Config

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Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

Jay Kim and I have spent the last couple of weeks developing an open source application to help with automatic security remediation based on compliance events from AWS Config.

What is Auto Remediate?

Auto Remediate is a serverless tool built on Lambda with the help of SQS, SNS, DynamoDB, CloudWatch, and Config all tied together with the Serverless Framework. This makes it completely serverless with the majority of costs coming from AWS Config (charged per rule per month).


Auto Cleanup is an open source application built on the Serverless Framework

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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

At Servian, we have close to 10 AWS accounts. Some are production accounts for our clients, others are for hosting our own internal applications and the remainder exist for consultant upskilling, experimentation, training, and presales activities.

A big problem with giving our consultants nearly free rein over our AWS accounts is having to deal with a lot of abandoned AWS resources that end up costing Servian hundreds if not thousands of dollars every month. …


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I only attended two sessions today, one of which was, unfortunately, a bit too dry to do a write-up for. However, check out the below recap as well as my and Xavier Clements’s morning keynote recaps:

ANT205 — Technology Trends: Data Lakes and Analytics

In this talk, Anurag Gupta, VP for AWS Analytic and Transactional Database Services, talks about some of the key trends we see in data lakes and analytics, and he describes how they shape the services we offer at AWS. …

Marat Levit

Technology and Gaming enthusiast | AWS APN Ambassador

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